Max Manetti`s had releases on Music For Dreams and Is It Balearic? off-shoot Uber – remixing Coyote into the bargain. His new E.P., on Grant Williams` Eclectics imprint takes a name that conjures islands, both Caribbean and Mediterranean. The Papa Doc bit`s gotta be a reference to Haiti’s hated despot Francois Duvalier. Aguila is “eagle” in Spanish. Duvalier seems a strange figure to check on a dance record, but I guess the aim is to add to the music’s air of vodou. Papa Doc claimed to be a “bokor”, a high priest*. The two original tracks recall Italian library music maestro Alessandro Alessandroni`s cosmic Afro Discoteca. Low-slung conga-filled grooves with rumbling live bass, funky breaks and dubbed-out shouts.
One of the tunes is called Macoute, as in Tonton Macoute, the creole boogyman, who also gave his name to Duvalier`s dreaded secret police / deathsquad. A gang twice the size of Haiti’s military, without rules, whose only remit was to intimidate, torture and eliminate opposition. Banging its cowbell in an ESG / Liquid Liquid fashion it echoes the 90s output of London label Wall Of Sound. Acid Jazz with a Big Beat. Like tuning into Andrew Weatherall`s short-lived late night / early morning Kiss FM residency. Giving it up between 1 and 3 AM. Strutting alongside Mighty Truth`s Is It A Wizard Or A Blizzard? and Mephisto Odyssey`s Dream Of The Black Dahlia. The sort of thing I would have wet my pants over back then. Faint Waves do a slo-mo house make-over. High-hats scything in 4 / 4. The b-line now electronic. Piano playing a fragmented 1989 riff. Grant himself provides an Iko-Iko-esque dub of the Faint Waves take.
James Bright transforms the E.P.`s other track, titled Henley (perhaps after journalist Jon Henley who penned the article, Haiti: A long Descent Into Hell), into something warm and acidic. Chugging like a reprise of The Beloved’s It`s Alright Now, or The Sun Rising. Synths encouraging you to raise your hands like it`s Ibiza 90 all over again.
There`s a Qrates project to press this E.P. onto to vinyl. You can order a copy and help out here.
*Duvalier also claimed to have caused the Kennedy Assassination with a curse.